A call in the middle of the night from my dear pal Paul Sevigny always puts a smile on my gorgeous face. Paul said he was in Fort Lauderdale with his boat, but planned to jet up to New York to DJ at the newly re-duxed Heathers (506 East 13th Street) which, by all accounts, is catering to the sharp set. He asked me to DJ with him, which I always enjoy, but alas I am at EVR (54 West 39th Street) from 6pm to 10pm for their after-work soiree, and then off to DL (95 Delancey at Ludlow) for their hard rock/metal/sleaze rock party with Sam Valentine and David Katz. DL will be celebrating rock enthusiast and star Daniella Tyler’s birthday.
Another birthday shout-out to Natasha Adonzio, the designer of all things rock, who was the spandex queen of St. Marks at the boutique that bore her name. The first party I ever threw was Dee Dee Ramone’s birthday at Max’s Kansas City. I got the bug, and so my second party ever was a fashion show with over 20 East Village shops. Natasha was the first to say yes. Everyone else said "Well if Natasha is doing it then so will I." She legitimized me … not an easy task. She is still designing and still for the rockers.
I got to go … It’s 8am and I won’t get to sleep until 7am. Yes, still crazy after all these years.
I had the most fun at GoldBar last night. The Monday night party "BIG Mess" was actually not. Mino Habib is the host with the most at this chic soiree. Momus, Frank Olivo and Michael Christopher provide the music. It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump from Ken & Cook, which looked wonderful last night as I passed it in a cab. The two adult sexy hot spots so near makes for a reason to be cheerful on a summer Monday night. I’ll be at Susanne Bartsch’s party tonight DJing for the in crowd at the Soho Grand. It’s early, 9pm, and then everyone swarms over to her On Top weekly (pictured) at Le Bain.
There is so much going on these days. One of the best (most fun) parties I have been to in recent years is Wednesdays at DL (Ludlow and Delancey). The second floor Dorian Gray weekly stars Kayvon Zand and his fellow creatures of the night. Kayvon DJ’s with Anna Evans and Xris SMack and it is insanely beautiful, eclectic fun. This week Icona Pop is casting for their new video. The roof is headed up by DJ Prince Terrance and The House of Fields crew. This group is a younger, more mixed version of the fashion, gay/straight, hip crowd. The two scenes mingle and flirt and out dress each other and it’s all grand. I can’t recommend a more brilliant evening.
For me it’s deja vu all over again. As one door opens up to the fabulous, alas another must close, as in Max Fish actually, really, I swear closing. The usual reasons … rent going sky-high in a neighborhood that got its cool from places like Max Fish and St. Jerome’s and Motor City, which soared with cool while the streets were deserted. Nowadays a fratboy and gal nightlife mall scares the rats and the cool kids away.
Terms in nightlife are often blurred. An owner can be just a promoter with little or no equity, a restaurant/lounge can be operating as a club, a bouncer can be a doorman, while a doorman is often just a salesman trying to sell bottles or table service. Table service is just another way of saying bottle service. Sometimes places that don’t have licenses to dance insist that their patrons are just swaying to the music. A service bar can be a regular bar with a waitron in front of it taking drinks, even if it lacks that little paper called a Liquor License. A club night could be called a "private" party if the door/salesperson doesn’t like your clothes or the color of your skin. A gratuity is often just a means to pay management and hostesses without cutting into revenues. An opening can be merely a preview and a closing just a means to redux a joint and rebrand it.
After decades in the business I’ve learned how to navigate all these terminologies. Often terms are used to have a joint semantically comply with stipulations put forth by community boards and regulating authorities. More often than not, police and other authorities only enforce stipulations when a place is causing them grief. Many bright people say the constant inspections over at the Greenhouse/ W.I.P. space have a great deal to do with their "urban" clientele and a few high profile incidents. There aren’t a lot of neighbors nearby and the place has operated as a club since the mid-last century in one form or another. The form that they are good at, however attracts an "urban" crowd and the good folks on Watt Street, Vandam, and related Tribeca streets probably want it to be a Duane Reade or Fairway instead of a source of entertainment for thousands. There’s a term for that that NIMBY, Not In My Backyard. These residents are probably very nice and not too racist and such and absolutely understand that there should be clubs that cater to "that" crowd—but why here?
Lately the Bowery Boogie, a wonderful source of information on clubs and restaurants and such in the L.E.S. and such has been reporting on the neighborhoods uproar over, DL, a restaurant/lounge that operates as a dance club on nights they are open. Now I really don’t want to get into this much, as I am in conflict having done some work designing and such at the place—I won’t take sides. I will not dwell on this much more than report it. It seems the DL just got renewed for three liquor licenses and Bowery Boogie reports that the community board CB3’s grievances were ignored and the club…er, restaurant/lounge was in violations of all sorts of stipulations and such. I could go on and on but won’t at this time as so many of my friends work there and I have never found myself on a community board side before and it feels real weird, and I’m not going to take sides…as I said. Bowery Boogie put up this letter that everybody I know has been telling me about.
"To The DL,
In the interest of transparency and open communication, we submit to the public footage from two parties held at your venue last night. One day after securing a no-vote resolution from Community Board 3 on your renewal, you hosted events open to the public using 3rd party promoters, DJs and dancing on 3 floors, live performances, closed your kitchen at 8pm, sold liquor from bars on all floors, and offered bottle service, etc—all of which are inconsistent with the signed stipulations and method of operation on file with the SLA: ‘whereas The DL would operate as a full-service restaurant, serving food until one hour of closing on the 1st floor; and the 2nd and 3rd floors operate banquet rooms for private functions and a sitting area with service bars only.’
The Community Board amended its committee’s denial out of concern that The DL was not given the opportunity to sit down with neighboring residents to work out solutions for their complaints and grievances. It took one day since the denial was overturned for these problems to resurface. The events last night demonstrate The DL’s continued disregard for commitments to this community and its agreements with the SLA. It is only the most recent example of an 18-month stretch of unlawful operation that has already been filed with the NY State Liquor Authority Investigation Bureau. What power do residents have to correct the behavior of an establishment who is willfully breaking the law without consequence?
We call on The DL to schedule an open meeting for all affected residents where you can explain why you have failed to fulfill your promise “to do everything by the book and let everyone know we are here to be good neighbors.” You have repeatedly broken your obligations and now you need to prove why you deserve a renewal and how you will now abide by the terms of your license.
Thanks to the person(s) who sent in this anonymous video / photos to the LES Dwellers.
We now take you inside The DL the night after it appeared before Community Board 3…
There’s all sorts of video showing people cavorting and drinking and having a swell time and thats what clubs…er restaurant/lounges are for. I hope all these problems are resolved as the clubs, bars, restaurants and lounges in the neighborhood support hundreds, if not thousands, of people trying to make a living in the big city. Neighbors could not have been surprised by all the action when they moved in so it seems unfair that they want to change things. Again, I can’t or won’t comment on the right or wrong on DL, but I do believe that they are committed to making things work. They do want their club…er restaurant/lounge to coexist and be a pillar to the community if not the community board.
*Calls to DL for comment were not returned by press time.